Q. By which one of the following Acts was the Governor General of Bengal, designated as the Governor General of India?

(a) The Regulating Act
(b) The Pitt’s India Act
(c) The Charter Act of 1793
(d) The Charter Act of 1833

Answer: (d) The Charter Act of 1833

Charter Act of 1833:
  • Background of Act:
    • The Charter Act, 1833 came under the backdrop of great changes that had taken place in Great Britain because of the Industrial Revolution.
    • Laissez Faire was accepted as the principle of the government’s attitude towards industrial enterprise.
    • The liberal movement resulted in the Reform Act of 1832.
    • In this atmosphere of liberalism and reforms the Parliament was called upon to renew the Charter in 1833.
  • About the Act:
    • It is also known as the Saint Helena Act 1833 or Government of India Act 1833.
      • Control of the island of Saint Helena was transferred from the East India Company to the Crown.
    • It was passed by the British Parliament to renew the Charter Act, 1813 of the East India Company.
      • This act renewed the charter of the EIC for 20 years.
    • The East India Company was deprived of its commercial privileges.
      • The Company’s monopoly over the trade except for tea and trade with China was ended as a result of Laissez-Faire and the continental system of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Features of Charter Act of 1833
  • Office of Governor General:
    • The Governor-General of Bengal became the Governor-General of India with exclusive legislative powers.
      • The presidencies of Bombay and Madras were deprived of their legislative powers.
    • The Governor-General of India was given civil and military powers.
      • The Government of India was created for the first time having the authority over the entire territorial area possessed by the British in India.
      • The First Governor-General of India was Lord William Bentick.
  • Governor General Council:
    • The members of the Governor General’s council were reduced by the Pitt’s India act 1784 was again increased to 4.
      • The fourth member had very limited powers, he was not entitled to act as a member of the council except for legislative purposes.
      • The Governor General Council had the authority to amend, repeal or alter any law in the entire length and breadth of India for any British, Foreigner or Indian.
  • Administrative Body (EIC):
    • The activities of East India Company as a commercial body came to an end. The company purely became an administrative body.
    • The company’s territories in India were to be held by it “in trust for his Majesty, his heirs and successors”.
  • Attempt to Open Civil Services:
    • The act attempted to introduce a system of open competition for selection in Civil Services.
      • It stated that Indians should not be debarred from holding any place, office and employment under the company.
      • It was nullified after opposition from the Court of Directors.
      • The concept of a merit based modern Civil Service in India was introduced on the recommendations of Lord Macaulay’s Report in 1854.
  • Legal British Colony: The Act permitted the English to settle freely in India. Itt effectively legalized British Colonization of India.
  • Ended Slavery:
    • The slavery existed in India at that time, the act provided for the mitigation of of slavery in India.
      • The slavery was abolished by British Parliament in Britain and all its possessions in 1833
  • Law Commision:
    • The Indian Law Commission was established in 1833 and Lord Macaulay was made its first chairman. It aimed to codify all kinds of law in India.
    • The Act provided that the laws made in India were supposed to be laid in British Parliament.
Significance of the Act
  • This Act was a watershed moment for the constitutional and political history of India.
    • It elevated the Governor General of Bengal as Governor General of India and consolidated and centralized the administration of India.
    • It made the East India Company a trustee of the crown in the field of administration.
    • The Act provided to freely admit Indians into administration in the country.
    • The Act separated the legislative functions of the Governor General in Council from the executive functions.
    • The law commission under Lord Macaulay codified the laws.

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Q. With reference to the Indian History, Alexander Rea, A. H. Longhurst, Robert Sewell, James Burgess and Walter Elliot were associated with

(a) archaeological excavations
(b) establishment of English Press in Colonial India
(c) establishment of Churches in Princely States
(d) construction of railways in Colonial India

Answer: (a) archaeological excavations

Archeologists and Historians

A.H. Longhurst:

  • Albert Henry Longhurst (1876-1955) was a British archaeologist and art historian who worked in India and Ceylon. He was the brother-in-law of Sir John Marshall, the Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India (1902-1928).
  • Longhurst began his career with the Archaeological Survey of India in 1904. He was appointed Superintendent of the Southern Circle in 1913. In this role, he oversaw archaeological excavations and conservation work at a number of important sites, including Hampi, Vijayanagara, and Nagarjunakonda.

Robert Swell:

  • Robert Sewell (1845-1925) was a British civil servant and historian who worked in India. He is best known for his work on the history of the Vijayanagara Empire, a powerful South Indian empire that existed from the 14th to the 16th centuries.
  • Sewell was born in England in 1845. He joined the Indian Civil Service in 1864 and was posted to Madras. He served in a variety of administrative roles in the Madras Presidency, including as Collector of Anantapur and Kurnool districts.

James Burgess:

  • James Burgess (1832-1916) was a British archaeologist who worked in India. He is considered to be one of the founders of Indian archaeology. He was born in Kirkmahoe, Scotland, in 1832. He studied at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh. In 1856, he went to India as an educationalist. He worked in Calcutta and Bombay. In 1868, he became the Secretary of the Bombay Geographical Society.
  • In 1873, Burgess was appointed the Head of the Archaeological Survey, Western India. In 1881, he was appointed the Head of the Archaeological Survey, Southern India. In 1886, he was appointed the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. He served in this role until 1889.

Walter Elliot:

  • Sir Walter Elliot (1803-1887) was a British civil servant and naturalist who worked in India. He was also an eminent orientalist, linguist, archaeologist, and ethnologist. He is best known for his work on the languages and cultures of South India.

Q. Consider the following statelllents :

Statement-I : 7th August is declared as the National Handloom Day.
Statement-II : It was in 1905 that the Swadeshi Movement was launched on the same day.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

(a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is the correct explanation for Statement-I
(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is not the correct explanation for Statement-I
(c) Statement-I is correct but Statement-II is incorrect
(d) Statement-I is incorrect but Stateinent-II is correct

Answer: (a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is the correct explanation for Statement-I

  • In 2015, the Government of India decided to designate the 7th of August every year, as the National Handloom Day. On this day, we honor our handloom-weaving community and highlight the contribution of this sector to the socioeconomic development of our country.
  • The Swadeshi Movement which was launched on 7th August, 1905 had encouraged indigenous industries and in particular handloom weavers. The movement was led by Mahatma Gandhi and it helped to revive the Indian handloom industry.
  • The National Handloom Day was declared to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement, which helped to revive the Indian handloom industry.
Swadeshi Movement:
  • Background:
    • The movement had its roots in the anti-partition movement which was started to oppose Lord Curzon’s decision of dividing the province of Bengal.
    • The Anti-Partition Campaign was launched by Moderates to exert pressure on the government to prevent the unjust partition of Bengal from being implemented.
      • The petitions were written to the government, public meetings were held and the ideas were spread through newspapers such as Hitabadi, Sanjibani and Bengalee.
    • The partition led to protest meetings in Bengal under which the pledge to boycott foreign goods was first taken.
  • Swadeshi Movement Proclamation:
    • In August 1905, at Calcutta Townhall, a massive meeting was held and the formal proclamation of the Swadeshi Movement was made.
    • The message was propagated to boycott goods such as Manchester cloth and Liverpool salt.
    • After the partition came into force, widespread opposition was shown by the people of Bengal by singing Vande Mataram.
      • Rabindranath Tagore also composed Amar Sonar Bangla.
      • People tied Rakhis on each other’s hands as a symbol of unity.
    • Although the movement was confined majorly to Bengal, it spread to a few different parts of India:
      • In Poona and Bombay under Bal Gangadhar Tilak
      • In Punjab under Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh
      • In Delhi under Syed Haider Raza
      • In Madras under Chidambaram Pillai.
  • Congres Reaction:
    • The Indian National Congress (INC) in a meeting in 1905 resolved to condemn the partition of Bengal and support the anti-partition and Swadeshi Movement.
    • The radical nationalists wanted the movement to be taken outside Bengal and go beyond just the boycott of foreign goods.
      • However, the moderates, dominating the Congress, were unwilling to go that far.
    • In the 1906 Congress Session held at Calcutta, the INC under the presidentship of Dadabhai Naoroji declared self-government or Swaraj as the goal of INC.
  • Rise of the Radical Nationalists:
    • The Extremists (or the Garam Dal) gained a dominant influence over the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal after 1905 till 1908; it is also known as the “Era of Passionate Nationalists”.
    • Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal (Lal-Bal-Pal) were important leaders of this Radical group.
    • The reasons for the same were:
      • Failure of the Moderate-led Swadeshi movement.
      • Divisive tactics of the governments of East Bengal and Western Bengal.
      • Violent measures of the British to suppress the movement.
    • In addition to boycotting the Extremists gave a call for boycotting government schools and colleges, government service, courts, legislative councils, municipalities, government titles, etc.
    • Tilak gave the slogan “Freedom is my birthright and I shall have it”.
  • Participation of People:
    • Students: School and college students were the most active participants of the movement.
      • Student participation was visible in Bengal, Poona (Maharashtra), Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Madras and Salem (Tamil Nadu).
      • The police adopted a repressive attitude towards the students. The students found guilty were fined, expelled, beaten, arrested and disqualified for government jobs and scholarships.
    • Women: Traditionally home-centered women too took active part in the movement.
    • Stand of Muslims: Some of the muslims participated, however, most of the upper and middle class muslims stayed away.
      • They supported the partition on the belief that it would provide them a Muslim-majority East Bengal.

Impact of Swadeshi Movement

  • Decline in Imports: It resulted in significant decline in the foreign imports during 1905-1908.
  • Growth of Extremism: Movement resulted in growth of extreme nationalism amongst youth which took to violence and wanted to bring an instant end to British dominance.
  • Morley-Minto Reforms: It forced British dispensation to offer some concessions to Indians in forms of Morley-Minto reforms in 1909.
    • Gopal Krishna Gokhale played an important role in framing these reforms.
  • Establishment of Swadeshi Institutions: Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan, the Bengal National College and a number of national schools and colleges in various parts of the country were set up.
    • In August 1906, the National Council of Education was set up to organise the national education system.
    • A Bengal Institute of Technology was set up for technical education.
  • Growth in Swadeshi Industries: It led to establishments of swadeshi textile mills, soap and match factories, tanneries, banks, insurance companies, shops, etc.
    • It also revived the Indian Cottage Industry.
    • Indian industries saw regeneration with reawakening of use of indigenous goods.
  • Boycott of Buyers and Sellers: The foreign goods including clothing, sugar, salt and various other luxury items were not only boycotted, but they were also burned.
    • The Swadeshi movement also led to social boycott of not only buyers but also sellers of foreign goods.